Review: Red Sonja #14

I don’t know if it’s just me, but man, this new story arc in Red Sonja has a real dark feel about it.  Sure, The She Devil has had moments of darkness during writer Gail Simone and artist Walter Geovani’s run.  But with those moments, there was always some equal moments of humor and a lighter feel.  This third arc however is changing that formula and it is addressing an all new territory as we enter the second issue of the new story.  And if it is darkness you are wanting, then that is just what you get here. Issue #14 is dark, period.  During the last issue, Sonja, while making quick work of a bullying wizard, was rendered upon a curse by the dying magic man. The curse itself seems straight forward enough. Sonja has lost her capacity to forgive. She kicks ass anyway, so what is a little bit of mercilessness going to do to her? Nothing right? Right?

In reading Issue #14, you will discover that this curse is a big deal and it is putting our heroine into new and literal soulless territory.  It’s a creepy evolution, but well done in the capable hands of Gail Simone’s scripting.  With each written line, you feel the seriousness of the matter.  I never realized how much some empathy for others really meant.  But looking at Sonja deal with these new inner demons, you feel every gut wrenching moment of the realization of this curse.  It is no joke and will require every single ounce of our red lady’s essence if she is to survive.  Oh yeah, the bullying wizard has a brother who is out to get her as well.  And his bullying ways appear to make the previous one’s kind of tame.  He also brings piercings back in style too.  Well maybe not, but it pretty much sums up his general creepiness. And if that is not enough, the one who had killed Sonja’s family those many years ago that has eluded death at Sonja’s vengeful hand has returned and is right in her sights, occupying her dreams and realities.

RSv2-14-Cov-Contest-Brooks 1-21-15Simone’s writing has taken a shift with this issue focusing not only on Sonja, but also on the surrounding inhabitants within the tale.  We see townsfolk, innocents and the not so innocents who are entering into jobs that may cost them more than their limbs.  The contrast works well as we see these folks and then Sonja with her pure contempt and hatred that has bubbled up to the surface. She is kind of mean right now.

But this issue is more than words and Walter Geovani delivers in his renderings in making this contrast of good and evil pop.  Sonja looks downright scary at times here. While others who are seeking mercy are drawn with a certain light that makes the dark tone have an elevated feel to it.  It is deep and dark.

A perfect storm is beginning to brew with this arc.  Sonja can’t seem to control the curse of unforgiveness that is slowly sapping her soul.  A hard core baddie is on the hunt to take down the She Devil and finish the job that was started with this curse rendering.  And, the ultimate focal point of Sonja’s everything.  The actual man who dropped her family in a merciless way is now in her crosshairs and it is looking that the term “terminate with extreme prejudice” might be getting ready to occur.  This guy will be lucky if he dies fast.  It all adds up to a good and entertaining smash up issue that continues to bring down the thunder. It might not quite be up to some of the series best, but it damn sure is dark and it is bringing a new level of emotion that has not yet been experienced in this series to date.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Walter Geovani Colorist: Adriano Lucas Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/21/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital